Mo Yan

Nobel laureate Mo Yan will teach in Taiwan

Famed mainland author to instruct university classes on writing and cross-strait literature

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 October, 2013, 4:35am

Nobel Laureate Mo Yan will teach Chinese writing and literature at a Taiwanese university beginning next year.

The National Taiwan Normal University announced on Thursday that Mo Yan, who is from the mainland, would lecture on literature and the cross-strait literary experience. Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature last year.

"Taiwanese writers are very good, and there is a good literary environment here," the university quoted him as saying on its website.

The university's president, Chang Kuo-en, said the university would soon set up a Chinese writing centre, and it hoped Mo Yan would play a key role in cultivating local talent, helping to promote Chinese literature around the world.

Mo Yan was expected to start teaching as soon as next summer, and would be responsible for a 20-credit course each semester, university officials said.

The writer already offered university lectures on the mainland, and so he was expected to stay in Taipei only for one to two weeks at a time, the officials said. They were still hammering out the schedule for classes.

With the position, Mo Yan is following in the footsteps of Gao Xingjian - the winner of the Nobel prize in literature in 2000. The university invited Gao to host lectures and seminars in June last year.

Mo Yan has visited Taiwan a half-dozen times, most recently on a trip to the southern city of Kaohsiung last month to attend a forum organised by the Buddhist Fo Guang Shan Monastery.

He has said he originally viewed Taiwan as a chaotic place where people often protested. But he eventually concluded the discord was confined to the island's legislature.

A long-time member of the Communist Party and vice-chairman of the party-aligned Chinese Writers' Association, the 58-year-old recently told the South China Morning Post that he believed censorship had motivated authors to write about topics seen as taboo.

Born Guan Moye in 1955 to a farming family in Gaomi , Shandong , Mo left school aged 11 to work the land. At the end of the Cultural Revolution, he joined the People's Liberation Army and began to write.